Maryeve Dufault And Tony Marks Racing ARCA Racing Series Debut At Daytona Includes a List of Many Firsts
DAYTONA BEACH, February 15, 2011: Maryeve Dufault and Tony Marks Racing (TMR) made their first ever ARCA series debut this weekend in the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 at the “World Center of Racing” in Daytona Beach, Florida.
The weekend started out solid for Dufault and her TMR No. 12 VR-12 Dodge team, by qualifying a respectable 24th position on the grid for the Saturday season opener at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway ahead of nine-time series champion, Frank Kimmel.
“There were a lot of pressures coming into this race, not having points, and my first ARCA stock car event, but TMR put together a great car, and we made it into the race”, said Dufault. “I’m just very happy to be a part of this organization and the opportunity to race at Daytona.”
Saturday, before the 200 mile event, TMR unveiled a season long sponsorship commitment from VR-12 Cooling Systems. The two combined, along with driver Dufault, made quite a stir amongst fans, the media, and in the ARCA garage at Daytona this past weekend and they assuredly will carry that momentum with them all season long.
During the main event for Saturday, Dufault piloted the No. 12 VR-12 Dodge Charger in the first laps up thru the field moving into the 17th slot. The second caution of the 80 lap event came out and Dufault came in for first pit stop of the race and got hung up on pit road trying to avoid another teams’ mishap. This cost the TMR No. 12 VR-12 Dodge team a few spots on the grid, but Dufault stayed focused in the draft and made every move with precision.
About half way thru, veteran NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) spotter, Mike Calinoff came across the radio to compliment Dufault.
“I just want to say you are doing a great job”, said an encouraged Calinoff. “You’re doing what you need to do by just there staying in line. We’re just going to stay smart, get some laps and finish the race.”
Dufault was able to turn a few more laps at full speed before an on track mêlée caught up to her just 16 laps from the finish. Another driver overreacted to the on track action and drove his machine down into the right side of the No. 12 VR-12 Dodge Charger.
Upon exiting the litter of race cars in turns three and four, Dufault brought her Tony Marks-owned entry to pit road where damage from the exhaust and the front-end alignment forced the No. 12 to the garage and ultimately done for the afternoon.
After climbing out of the car, a very disappointed Dufault had some comments about her first encounter with “the big one”.
“I thought I had missed it all until I got hit”, said a disappointed Dufault. “Then I was looking and there were cars going everywhere. I tried to get to the grass but it all happened so fast. It stinks.”
After reflecting on the day’s events and her first ARCA series Daytona superspeedway debut, Dufault had some very positive remarks to describe her experience.
“Today was a great start for the TMR VR-12 Dodge Charger team. They did a really great job putting the car together. I was having a blast out there; so much fun”, said Dufault. “I couldn’t be more thankful for having done all those laps out there. It was unfortunate about the accident but I tried to do my best. I got a lot of experience and we’ll just carry it on to Talladega”, said a positive Dufault.
She continued to reflect about her on track involvement at Daytona.
“It was fast out there with all those cars and with the movement of the car”, explained Dufault. “I thought it was really exciting to draft and of course the pit road situation was a first for me, a lot of smoke, a lot of numbers, it was a little overwhelming, but we got it right the second time.”
A very humble Dufault graded her performance on a scale from one to 10 as a “seven.”
“A seven maybe”, she said laughing. “I don’t know, a 10 maybe, but I have so much to learn I can’t give myself a 10, that would be too proud of myself.”
The TMR No. 12 VR-12 Dodge Charger finished 28th out of a 43 car field Saturday at the drop of the checkered flag for the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 at Daytona International Speedway.
During the down time between season superspeedway openers, Dufault and the TMR team will be moving their headquarters from Napoleon, Ohio to Race City USA, Mooresville, North Carolina.
The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards will take nearly an eight week pause before action resumes at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway on Friday, April 15th, 2011 live on SPEED.
For additional information on TMT, Inc. please visit; tmtcompanies.net.
For more on Maryeve Dufault, please log onto Maryeveracing.com.
To learn more about Tony Marks Racing, please click over to Tmr-racing.com.
See the buzz that VR-12 is creating by clicking over to their website at VR-12.com.